View Full Version : Does this tenants behaviour sound suspicious to you?

08-11-2005, 14:18 PM
Hi, I am new here, basically because in the 7 years i have rented my UK property to tenants i have never had a problem....until now.
My current tenant had a contract for 6 months starting on 7th May until 7th October when he went to a periodic tenancy. I use a letting agent
In the past, i have given my tenants 24 hour notice that i wished to inspect the property when i was back in the UK (i live in the Caribbean), and all my previous tenants were agreeable to this.
However, i am not able to get back to the UK until July next year and wished for a representative of mine to inspect the property on my behalf.
The tenant has refused this saying it is an invasion of his privacy - fine he has the right to do this. This went back and forth from me to the agents, tenants to agents - he is even questioning why the agents have to do their inspection. Anyway, i find this refusal highly suspicious....coupled with the fact that he pays his rent 6 months up front, which is great to have the money there for me, but it also seems suspicious that he is throwing away a good couple of hundred quid of interest he could gain on it by paying per month.
I am so uneasy by all this that i want to serve him 2 months notice to vacate the property. And from here on in i am going to let it as a holiday cottage, because i am sick of being a landlord and basically not having any rights to my property at all.
Does anyone else think this tenants behaviour is suspicious? The money up front could possibly be a tax dodge? And what kind of chaos can i expect if the tenant refuses to move?

08-11-2005, 14:39 PM

First suspicious or not, you do not have a right to enter the property, as you rightly said, and therefore its upto you how to proceed. My concern here would be the fact you have taken 6 months rent up front. This is not because of suspicion of his activities but the tenancy it has now created. You may find that you now have to give 2 periods worth of notice, i.e. 2 x 6 months = a year!

lets see what the others think!

08-11-2005, 15:08 PM
My current tenant had a contract for 6 months starting on 7th May until 7th October when he went to a periodic tenancy.

Errrrr thats 5 months not 6!!! the tenancy only went periodic yesterday. Maybe because of your mathematical error your tenant is suspicious of you wanting an inspection just before the tenancy goes periodic, assuming you're going to evict. From his point of you he has been reasonable don't you think paying you 6 months rent up front!

08-11-2005, 15:21 PM
Yes, sorry my mistake with the dates, it only went periodic yesterday. He has been reasonable paying up six months in advance (although i am still suspicious of this behaviour) but i just cannot get my head round the idea of why he doesn't want an inspection, it makes me think he has something to hide...and i dont like it.....i'm just not cut out to be a landlord and merrily let people cack up my investment and property whilst i have no rights, hence we have decided to turn it in to a holiday let.
From having a quick read on these posts it seems as if the earliest i can give notice will be next month, then if he refuses to move out i will expect three/four months of legal wrangling to evict him - so hopefully we can still have the summer months to let it as a holiday let.

08-11-2005, 16:10 PM
yes so the earliest time you can gain possession will be in just under 3 months assuming you don't have to give 2x6months notice as dazalock said. I don't know about that. Won't the rent be due now? has he paid a months or another 6? that might be relevant.

08-11-2005, 16:47 PM
If your tenancy agreement states a monthly rent then I would have thought that accepting payment every six months amounts to a private arrangement. Those who accept housing benefit tenants accept four weekly payments in arrears instead of monthly in advance, it doesn't affect the legal position as I found out recently when evicting a HB tenant.
As for the suspicion, personally, if I were renting and keeping the place in good order, I would not want the landlord or agent around checking on me. I agree though that it is swings and roundabouts on this.

08-11-2005, 17:19 PM
My letting agents tell me although he has given them six months rent in advance, it does not create a six month contract with me because they will only release the money per month to me, as he is on a periodic tenancy.
You know he probably is a good tenant, but too often in the past i have been trusting of people and putt up with situations that leave my intuitions screaming at me, and too often i have been walked all over, and i am not prepared to put up with it anymore.
I have been a tenant too, and because i have kept the place in good repair and have had nothing to hide, i have never had a problem with inspections.
My agents also tell me that if it goes to court the courts would class it as harrassment the mere fact that i have asked if my representative can inspect the property - which it states in the contract that i am entitled to ask for this. Of course the tenant can say no, which he has done.....but how the hell can that be classed as harrassment?
I am just sick to death of the whole legal side of letting being so very biased towards tenants.
I think i have made up my mind to serve him notice....go with my gut instinct

08-11-2005, 17:34 PM
As has been said, it is a tenant's right to refuse a landlord (or his agent) access for the purpose of a landlord's inspection. It is also a landlord's right to evict a tenant without reason in accordance with section 21 of the housing act. If said tenant has paid your agent 6 months rent up front on a monthly tenancy, then you can be assured that you will receive your rent right up until day the bailffs evict him (with luck).


08-11-2005, 17:41 PM
I think your agent is a little misguided. As far as the tenant is concerned he has paid you six months rent in advance. It is of no consequence whether or not your agent is paying it to you.

You have a right to inspect the property, but as you know quiet enjoyment gets in the way of this if the tenant wishes to protect his privacy or hide his wrongdoings. You can request the courts to allow you access!

I fail to see why an attempt to gain access to the property would be harrassment. I suggest you write to the tenant with an inspection date stating that if it is inconvenient he should call you direct to arrange a more suitable time, this puts the onus on him.

If your contract states that the rent is payable monthly and the tenant for his own peace of mind pays in advance you should be fine. If the contract reflects the payment ie six monthly, you really could have a problem.

Instincts in this business can often be proven right but not always. Good luck with it.

08-11-2005, 17:51 PM
The tenant now has come back and said that my representative can visit the property before 6am and after 9pm......he knows i was only asking this person to act as my rep. as she was in the area for work that particular week, so i think these times have been deliberately contrived to make this whole affair more difficult than it ought to be - he did not mention weekends - so he is being either devious or awkward neither of those attributes i really care for.
We have signed a periodic tenancy which states payment is per month on the 7th. But, yes, having the money there does mean that if he wont leave then after notice period at least i'll get paid. Mind you the letting agents have never really had my best interests at heart so they'll probably give it back to him!

08-11-2005, 20:12 PM
As has been said, it is a tenant's right to refuse a landlord (or his agent) access for the purpose of a landlord's inspection. It is also a landlord's right to evict a tenant without reason in accordance with section 21 of the housing act.Very true...

What, I wonder, would happen if the LL just told the tenant that if he refuses to allow occasional inspections (the tenant's right), the tenancy will be terminated (the LL's right)? Would that be 'unfair' and not allowed (ie, would it override the right of the LL to evict for no reason whatsoever, simply because this reason had been given?)

08-11-2005, 20:15 PM
He is extracting the urine, serve notice. At the very least, he will then know you mean business. Also, change your agent or do as many of us here have done, manage it yourself, its not as hard as you may think and it saves agents' fees.

08-11-2005, 20:53 PM
Mr Woof - you are quite right, i intend to give him notice with no reason stated, as is my right.
I never intend to let my house out ever again as a residential let, i have decided to let it as a holiday let and manage that myself, it also means i can block off dates and use the house ourselves when we are back in the UK for a visit.
Just sick to death of bending over backwards to placate tenants and getting absolutely not respect back from them at the end of the day!

08-11-2005, 23:11 PM
Just my thoughts:

- I agree with dazalock on the 6 month thing. When your agent releases money to you has zip to do with the tenant, that is an arrangment between you and your agent. I would be more concerned with the agent than the tenant after this comment, as it is obvious the agents knowledge is at the very least somewhat dubious!

- I wouldnt be overly suspicious....some people are just like that! The tenant is likely also one of these people who are outraged at the "invasion of privacy" by identity cards, and cameras checking for road tax! It doesnt neccessarily mean that he is doing anything wrong.

- Someone said, I believe it was mjpl, on another thread that in fact the tenant does not have to agree to the landlord entering, just that the notice to enter must be given at least 48 hours in advance in writing. Not sure if this is actually the case, but it was definitely stated on this forum not too long ago.

09-11-2005, 00:17 AM
The tenant can refuse access. The post you refer to was one that stated that a Landlord does not need the tenant to confirm an inspection in order for it to go ahead, however if the tenant refuses the inspection, it is a different matter.

09-11-2005, 00:19 AM
Ah yes thats right mjpl I remember now....sorry for misquoting you.

09-11-2005, 01:07 AM
Mr Shed - you are right that he might be one of those weird people who are outraged by invasion of privacy - the fact is i dont want one of those living in my house either! My main gripe, if you like, is that i always bend over backwards to accommodate tenants, this guy turns up with two cats, so i say OK fine move in with the cats, i then even offer to put in a catflap for him, because i am nice and thought it would be a nice gesture. Anytime anything goes wrong in the house i always agree to get it fixed asap regardless of cost, in fact this bozo called out the emergency boiler man when there was in fact no problem with the boiler, he just hadn't turned it on, and guess who gets stuck with that bill, old muggings here that's who. And so what in return do i get from the tenant, Jack S**t that's what, all i want to do is have someone look at the place on my behalf and he is being deliberately awkward and setting conditions that are unreasonable.
I'll show him whose house it is, and it aint his! He's outta there!

09-11-2005, 10:11 AM

Obviously not cut out for it then. I went throught that sort of frustration some while ago, I believe its all to do with KNOWING what your obligations are on not to be taken for a ride. For example, the boiler man bill would definately have been paid by the tenant in my flats! You are also at a disadvantage by not being local and therefore not in control. I would be interested to know if hliday letting is any easier.

09-11-2005, 12:20 PM

I may have missed some relevant point that precludes my suggestion; either you or the agent write to the tenant advising of the inspection, allow 24 hours notice and proceed.

This is a basic landlord/agent right in an AST.

09-11-2005, 12:54 PM

I may have missed some relevant point that precludes my suggestion; either you or the agent write to the tenant advising of the inspection, allow 24 hours notice and proceed.

This is a basic landlord/agent right in an AST.

Did you actually read the previous posts and also what law says ?
That's whether you write a letter before or not, you can even send the Pope if you want, you can't enter the property if the tenant doesn't want you to.

09-11-2005, 13:51 PM
The landlord and tenant act allows a landlord a right of access in order to check for damage and repair, in order to fulfill the landlords repair obligations. The landlord must give at least 24 hours notice in writing though. The tenant can refuse but the landlord can go to court to enforce this right. This is balanced against the tenants right of quiet enjoyment, which exists as a statutory right in all tenancies whether written or not.

This has been discussed several times before on the forum, relating to the frequency of inspections and what is considered reasonable in order to balance the rights of landlord and tenant.

09-11-2005, 16:23 PM
I would be interested to know what frequency levels are considered reasonable because this is the first time in six months i have asked for a visit.
Anyway, tenant now has agreed to next weeks inspection visit, but wants this to be the last visit by anyone apart from the hopeless letting agency....so in essence if i agree to his terms, if he rents for 10 years i will not be able to go in to my own property for ten years - yeah right mister i'm really going to go for that one arent i?
My property is a 400 year old cottage, and it needs the constant attention these types of property need unfortunately. My previous tenants have all been fine with the on going improvements, checks and repairs that are part and parcel of living in that age of house. But now i must just give up the right to even ask for an inspection visit because he feels his privacy is being invaded with a visit every six months.
He needs to buy his own house!
I'll let you know how the holiday letting idea goes, once this fool has gone.

09-11-2005, 18:11 PM
Rent up front: many people do this in order to prove their ability to pay if their references are a 'bit crap' (for want of better words). i.e my friend who is a wealthy guy, just works freelance when he wants to. The estate agents want to see regular income or they are not interested.

Inspection:I know it's hard but see it from the tenants point of view for a second.
He is a single guy living there right? OK. He probably has porn in the cupboards, private letters/documents all over the place, precious things that could get damaged etc etc.....(in the nicest possible way)it's just a pain in the arse having to have strangers come inside and isnspect the home you are paying good money for. (even if you are just renting)
Also, he probably has a pet he had not told you about.

09-11-2005, 19:18 PM
I know about the two cats, unless they've multiplied!
I am trying to see it from his point of view and i dont want to keep popping in every five minutes, just once a year -thats it, in fact i live in the Caribbean so can't even do a casual 'drive-by' or pop-in-and-see-the-neighbours tactics of keeping an eye on the place like friends of mine do. So yes, i do have to respect his privacy as a tenant, but equally he needs to see it from my point of view....i.e. what kind of moron would rent their house out and agree NEVER to inspect it?
It is a two-way street and he is driving one-way only!
So it's time to pack his porn, his whips, blow up dolls, and his pet elephant and get the hell out of Dodge!

09-11-2005, 19:54 PM
So it's time to pack his porn, his whips, blow up dolls, and his pet elephant and get the hell out of Dodge!Is he a friend of Lawstudent then?

09-11-2005, 21:39 PM
looooooooooooool :D

04-05-2006, 20:43 PM
I assume that your contract doe not have a clause stating that you may inspect the property by giving a minimum 48 hrs notice. I always have these on my contracts & never have a problem carrying out inspections. Also I guess you may have a clause granting you access in event of an emergency, although you may need to be a bit 'creative' with that one.

One thing I have learned the hard way is that the tenants rights are of infinite importance when compared with the landlords.

You could always just serve him his notice!!

Good luck